For the past few weeks, along with our Bible chapters, we’ve been reading Chuck Swindoll’s daily devotions based in the book of Job. Because the “Insight” web page only shows 90 days at a time, we’ve printed out a few that spoke directly to our circumstances, knowing they would be gone all too soon. I’ve shared a couple of them here on The Blog, too. Today I’m sharing two days worth…both taken from Job, chapter 38. The lesson—in a nutshell—
We grow in maturity when we realize it’s not about our significance, but God’s. Only when your God is BIG can your worries be erased and replaced with peace.
But I want to be able to keep this entire teaching in a safe place for another time and other circumstances. So here they are:
God is prominent and preeminent. He is majestic in His power, magnificent in His person, and marvelous in His purposes. How refreshing to step back into the shadows of our own insignificance and give full attention to the greatness of our God! It’s all about Him!
How unlike the little girl walking beside her mother in a pouring rain and loud thunderstorm. Every time the lightning flashed, her mother noticed she turned and smiled. They’d walk a little further, then lightning, and she’d turn and smile. The mother finally said, “Sweetheart, what’s going on? Why do you always turn and smile after the flash of lightning?”
“Well,” she said, “Since God is taking my picture, I want to be sure and smile for Him.”
We take a major step toward maturity when we finally realize it’s not about us and our significance. It is all about God’s magnificence. His holiness. His greatness. His glory.
In whirlwind and storm is His way,
And clouds are the dust beneath His feet.
The LORD is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble,
And He knows those who take refuge in Him. (Nahum 1:3, 7)
God is transcendent. He is magnificent. He is mighty. He alone is awesome! He is all around us, above us, and within us. Without Him there is no righteousness. Without Him there is no holiness. Without Him there is no promise of forgiveness, no source of absolute truth, no reason to endure, no hope beyond the grave. Nothing compares to Him. As in that grand hymn:
O worship the King, all glorious above,
And gratefully sing His wonderful love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.1
We grow in maturity when we realize it’s not about our significance, but God’s.
— Charles R. Swindoll
How Big Is Your God?
When God finally does speak, He answers Job out of a whirlwind. Suddenly, there He is! Wouldn’t it have been great for us to have been there? Whoosh! Lightning, loud thunder, mighty winds blowing dark clouds across the heavens, and out of nowhere God bursts on the scene. It must have taken Job’s breath away when the Lord “answered Job out of the whirlwind” (Job 38:1).
Many years ago (I was no more than ten years old) on a still and silent morning, long before dawn, I was fishing with my father. Our little fourteen-foot fishing boat was sitting on a slick, in a small body of water just this side of Matagorda Bay. We both had our lines in the water, and neither of us was saying a word. My dad was at the stern by the old twenty-five-horsepower Evinrude, and I was up near the bow of the boat. It was one of those mornings you could flip a penny onto the surface of the water and then count the ripples. It was silent as a tomb—almost eerie.
Suddenly, from the depths of the bay near the hull of our boat, comes this huge tarpon in full strength, bursting out of the water. He does a big-time flip in the air, then plunges with an enormous crash back into the bay. I must have jumped a foot off my wooden seat, shaking with fear. My dad didn’t even turn around. Still watching his line, he said quietly, “I told you the big ones were down there.”
That’s Elihu’s message. He is here, Job! Our awesome God—all glorious above. “Job, listen. He’s here. He isn’t always silent. When He speaks there is no voice like His.” Job’s view of God may have been enlarged, thanks to his friend’s final remarks.
When your God is too small, your problems are too big and you retreat in fear and insecurity. But when your God is great, your problems pale into insignificance and you stand in awe as you worship the King.
How big is your God? Big enough to intervene? Big enough to be trusted? Big enough to be held in awe and ultimate respect? Big enough to erase your worries and replace them with peace?
Remember: the more you know God, the bigger He becomes.
Only when your God is BIG can your worries be erased and replaced with peace.
— Charles R. Swindoll
Hopefully you will find something here that will speak into your circumstances just as we have. We do serve a BIG God. I’m so thankful.